Speeding on America's roads can have deadly consequences but why exactly is speeding dangerous? It goes without saying that drivers with a "lead foot" don't have enough time to react to changing traffic conditions. The force of a fast-moving car slamming into another object is greater than the force of a slower moving car hitting something.
There are more perhaps less obvious reasons why speeding has become a deadly epidemic on our roads and highways. Researchers with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently looked closely at the connection between driving too fast and fatal car accidents.
According to Motortrend, tens of thousands of people died over the past 25 years due to an increase in speed limits in many states. In the new IIHS study, researchers examined how changes in the top speed limits impacted the number of road deaths from 1993-2017. Most states increased their maximum speed limits since 1993. Alabama, for example, increased the maximum speed limit on interstate highways to 70 mph in 1996, according to SafeMotorist.com.
Researchers break down reasons why speeding can be deadly
A 5-mph jump in the maximum speed limit was linked to an 8-percent increase in the number of highway deaths, according to the IIHS.
Here are some of the top reasons why higher speed limits lead to more accidents:
- The driver has less time to react to an emergency
- The driver needs more distance to stop the car
- Each increase in the speed limit results in an increase in the crash energy or force of the accident
Many drivers will exceed the maximum speed limit. IIHS reports that raising the speed limit results in more drivers exceeding the posted limit. Other factors also come into play. Speeding today may be more dangerous than it was before the advent of cell phones and other technological gadgets that can potentially distract drivers. A speeding driver who is texting or surfing the internet has a higher risk of causing a serious accident than a speeding driver who is not distracted.
What to do if a speeding car causes an accident
If speeding was a factor in an accident that killed a loved one or caused a serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation. While you may know the other driver was clearly at fault, the insurance company may try to make it difficult to get a fair settlement. The insurance company may downplay your injuries or argue that you or your loved one was at least partly to blame.
At the Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we understand that insurance companies can be unfair. That's why you need a strong advocate fighting for you. We can conduct a comprehensive investigation on your behalf to get to the truth. We hold reckless or careless drivers accountable for their actions.
Contact us today to find out how we can help.